Teen turns school project into family business in UAE

Saman Haziq/Dubai
Filed on October 24, 2020
A FAMILY AFFAIR: After Ishir’s idea turned into actual magnetic hanging strips, the Wadhwa family spent eight months developing it further before making it available commercially.

It was supposed to be a school project.

What if you can mount a home theatre system on a wall — without having to drill any holes? Sixteen-year-old Ishir Wadhwa thought there must be a way. So, with the help of his family, he invented a solution.

It was supposed to be a school project. But, with his father amazed at how the product turned out, they decided to turn it into a family business.

Ishir, a Dubai resident and a student at GEMS World Academy, was required to submit an innovative project for his Grade 10 IB course. He looked for an everyday problem to solve and found it on the wall — the humble screw and nails.

"While screw and nails have been in use since time immemorial, they pose problems for people on a daily basis such as damage to walls, outsourcing labour, dust pollution and other dangers of drilling," Ishir explained.

"I reached out to my elder brother Avik, who is now studying engineering at Purdue University in the US. When we put our minds together, the solution, like all great ideas, was elegantly simple."

Their solution was to put two steel tapes and a strong magnet together. "The steel tape that adheres to the wall is known as the ‘alpha steel tape’ and the one on the object to be hung as the ‘beta steel tape’. The neodymium magnet holds the entire assembly together, including the object being mounted," Ishir explained.

The family called the product KLAPiT, from the clapping sound produced by the two magnets coming together.

Launching the product

Seeing the talent and innovation of his sons, Sumesh Wadhwa decided to take a big leap. He left his high-paying job and career and decided to launch the product as their family business.

"With this magnet, we were able to hang our home theatre system on our wall without drilling. It really got my attention as my speakers had been lying around for almost 10 years but since I didn’t want to drill the walls, I had left them.

"When I saw the invention of my boys, I knew this could be an absolute game-changer." The family checked online to see if there was anything like it, they found nothing, they said. So, they launched the product in the UAE and the world.

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